Proving Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident
The way for the property owner to be at fault is if they were too careless and because of their carelessness, unwittingly caused the accident that resulted in you being hurt. For example, if the floor was wet, and you fell after seeing the “Wet Floor” sign, your slip and fall lawsuit might not have any legal standing. Also, if you have slipped on (or tripped over) something that is typically found in the location you are visiting (for example, if you have had fallen over the garden hose while walking through the garden) the property owner is still not responsible for your injury.
The fall that you experienced must not come from your lack of attention because you as you do have a responsibility to attempt to avoid dangerous conditions.
Were Safe Conditions Maintained to Avoid The Risk of Slip and Fall Accidents?
The property owner must take steps to remove unsafe conditions that may cause a slip and fall injury. While there are no specific rules, courts have legal guidelines that they use when determining fault in slip and fall lawsuits. Could they have fixed something to prevent the accident? Could they have installed something to avoid the accident? If this can be proven, then the property owner could be held liable.
Proving Liability in Your Slip and Fall Lawsuit
So, what do you need to prove liability in your slip and fall lawsuit? Well, if you were injured due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property, you will need to show one of the three possible situations that can make the property owner liable for your accident.
– The property owner (or an employee) did not know about the dangerous condition that caused your injury, but they should have known about it.
– The property owner (or an employee) knew about the dangerous conditions but chose not to fix it in a reasonable timeframe (or, at all).
– The property owner (or an employee) is the one who caused the dangerous condition.
Level of “Reasonableness” in Slip and Fall Lawsuits
One of the factors the court needs to evaluate in slip and fall lawsuits are the “reasonableness” of the owner’s actions (or lack thereof). Essentially, “reasonableness” means that if what a property owner did was “reasonable” in respects to his or her property, then it is challenging to claim they were liable for your slip and fall. To determine reasonableness, you should use these questions as guidelines.
– How long before your accident had the dangerous condition been present?
– How often does the property owner clean the property? Can he or she prove it?
– If you tripped over something that was left on the floor, was there a reason for that object being there?
– If the object you tripped over was left there for a legitimate reason, was the reason still valid at the moment of your injury?
Next Steps in Your Slip and Fall Lawsuit
If you can prove that you were not negligent and the property owner is responsible for your injuries you might get a settlement. If you think you have a slip and fall lawsuit you should contact a Slip and Fall Attorney ASAP.